WALLPAPER* ARCHITECTS’ DIRECTORY 2019: Founding partners Alicia Casals and Karl Nyqvist have collectively gained experience at the likes of OMA, Kengo Kuma and BIG. Driven by innovation and the pursuit of the unique, the Barcelona-based studio, whose projects include the Frame House (pictured) on Menorca’s northeast coast, is currently in the process of setting up a branch in Stockholm.
Fusing Spanish and Scandinavian design influences, architects Alicia Casals and Karl Nyqvist choose to take an optimistic approach to the challenges of architecture today, motivated by self-improvement and positive problem-solving.
Combining a global network and experience at practices such as OMA, BIG, ShigeruBan, Kengo Kuma, MVRDV, UnStudio and BüroOS, the pair bring a similarly broad outlook to their projects. They are driven by curiosity for diversity – from the 10 languages spoken across their team, to the variety of typologies from urbanism, to interior design, graphic design and social research and projects from pavilions, museums, schools and houses they take on.
While each project is different, each has a soft geometric power, a subtle composure, usually bold and somewhat decorative, yet never severe. It’s a happy architecture, unafraid of experimentation with a willingness to evolve.
Frame House in Menorca is an example of how Nomo Studio creates a building that contributes to its environment. Embedded into the sloping landscape of its site, it directs itself like a picture window out towards the sea view. In an area of natural beauty, strict regulations limited how the house could be positioned; yet Frame House appears to settle into its place in a striking, yet also serene way.
According to the client’s desire to have a house that would be equally comfortable for two people, as well as a whole family. Nomo Studio designed the top floor as an autonomous apartment in itself – the master bedroom occupying prime position with a large terrace looking out to sea. ‘We like the idea of transforming a client’s personality into a project that clearly reflects that person’s uniqueness.’
‘We are working on building up a strong team’ – NOMO STUDIO
Casals and Nyqvist’s personal, yet pragmatic approach translates from their design to the way they run their business. They make sure to rapidly embrace new techniques, technologies and tools – such as parametric design, animation or virtual reality. Every Friday, the team settles in for a ‘Pecha Kucha’ as a way to share ideas, inspiration and creativity across the team.
The pair know that their talented employees are their asset: ‘Our main challenge right now is to grow in project size and diversify our portfolio. With this in mind, we are working on building up a strong team ready for the “next step”.’ §